by The Learning Center
August 22, 2014
Pour the foundation of a successful semester in the first week! Here are three tips to help you maximize this important first step to academic success and start the semester strong:
1. Learn Your Syllabi
You know those syllabi you get from your professors, outlining your courses that you quickly browse through? Spend some extra time reading them carefully and you'll reap the benefits all semester long! Take note of lecture topics, readings, assignment due dates, and grading breakdown. If you understand your professor's expectations, your chances of academic success in that course are greatly enhanced.
2. Plan Your Semester
"Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe." - Abraham Lincoln
Take some time to organize your most important tool - your time! After you have read each syllabus, create a semester-long assignment plan. Use the calendar provided in your Student Handbook to record each quiz, test, and graded project for the upcoming semester. By recording each graded assignment, you can identify when your schedule may be overburdened weeks in advance. For example, is there a week where you have two exams and a paper due? You might want to consider writing the paper early so you can concentrate on the two exams for that week.
3. Plan Your Week
While you're planning, keep in mind that scheduling in college is significantly different than high school. You may have two or three hours between classes. You might have entire days where you have only one course. Building some structure into these unstructured days is essential for academic success. Consider using these time gaps to study in the library or to receive tutoring in the Learning Center. Or perhaps you may want to get involved with a campus organization. Students who effectively use these scraps of time are ahead of the game. You only get 168 hours in a week. Use those hours wisely.
Have a successful semester! Stop by the Learning Center to get some extra help or to improve your study skills.
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